Skip to main content

The Surprising Adventures of Bampfylde Moore Carew, King of the Beggars


Published August 11, 2014


LibriVox recording of The Surprising Adventures of Bampfylde Moore Carew, King of the Beggars by Bampfylde Moore Carew and Robert Goadby.
Read in English by Grant Hurlock.

The Surprising Adventures of Bampfylde Moore Carew recounts the wide-ranging exploits of a real-life rogue – a wily professional mendicant who roams 18th-century England extracting charity from merchants, clergyman, and members of the landed gentry alike, employing in his craft an ingenious variety of deceptions and disguises put on for the purpose. Often he impersonates a shipwreck-surviving seaman and uses his wide knowledge of foreign parts and personages to achieve plausibility. Or he might appear on a doorstep as a destitute woman in widow's weeds, toting borrowed babes to enhance the effect.

In the course of his psychological experiments in the science of inducing charity, Bampfylde Moore Carew takes great delight in touching the same mark more than once, back to back, offering up a different identity each time he scores. Sometimes, after the fact, he unmasks to his prey, and a drinking-party ensues. Twice, though, he is apprehended and transported to colonial America to be sold into slavery. During his first American sojourn, he lives among peaceful Indians before wangling his way back to England, feigning smallpox en route to avoid being pressed into military service. On another occasion, though, he is press-ganged onto a warship bound up the Baltic but, as always, uses his wits to make his way back to his beloved wife and daughter in England.

This book opens a panoramic window onto the day-to-day problems and social practices of those attempting to survive the precarious first half of the 18th century. Appended to the tale is A Dictionary of the Cant Language, listing the colorful, semisecret argot used by mendicants to, among other things, describe targets of opportunity while evading comprehension by overhearing ears. A sort of urban dictionary of its day, it includes such surprising entries as "flaybottomist - a schoolmaster," "lousetrap - a comb" and "tip the velvet - to tongue a woman." (Summary by Grant Hurlock)

For further information, including links to online text, reader information, RSS feeds, CD cover or other formats (if available), please go to the LibriVox catalog page for this recording.

For more free audio books or to become a volunteer reader, visit LibriVox.org.

Download M4B (207MB)


Run time 07:31:28

Reviews

There are no reviews yet. Be the first one to write a review.
DOWNLOAD OPTIONS
Uploaded by
librivoxbooks
on 8/11/2014
Views
1,137
Favorites
2
PEOPLE ALSO FOUND
The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection
by F. Anstey
1,503
0
0
Source: Librivox recording of a public-domain text
The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection
by Burton Egbert Stevenson
7,849
0
0
The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection
by Luther-Bibel 1912
12,789
0
0
Source: Librivox recording of a public-domain text
The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection
by Charles Perrault
20,679
0
0
The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection
by Anne Bronte
11,161
0
0
Source: Librivox recording of a public-domain text
The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection
by Joseph Lievesley Beeston
10,688
0
2
( 2 reviews )
Source: Librivox recording of a public-domain text
The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection
by Jean de La Fontaine
4,703
0
0
Source: Librivox recording of a public-domain text
( 1 reviews )
The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection
by King James Version (KJV)
546
0
0